From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to follow the law and inaugurate the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) he constituted and which was confirmed by the Senate.
Reacting to the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja to the effect that there was no order against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC, the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition said the Federal Government acted on a non-existing order in the appointment of Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa as sole administrator.
National Chairman of the group, Damian Nwikinaka,said it was wrong that two ‘illegal heads’ are laying claim to the headship of the agency.
“It underscores the tardiness of the Buhari administration in its disregard for the law. The latest embarrassment is from the ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which said in plain terms that the Federal Government lied in stating that it (the court) gave a restraining order against the Interim Management Committee imposed on the NDDC, on which basis Chief Godswill Akpabio caused one of his former aides, Mr Effiong Okon Akwa, to take over as sole administrator,” the group said.
The coalition said at the time Mr. Akwa was appointed in December 2020, it had pointed out the absurdity in replacing an illegal appointment with an equally illegal appointment.
“Both the IMC and the sole administrator are illegal appointments as they are unknown to the NDDC Act of 2000 as amended, which prescribes that the NDDC shall be managed by a Governing Board with membership from the 9 constituent states.”
The group recalled that the notice announcing Mr. Akwa as sole administrator, made by the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, claimed that: “The development became necessary as a result of a plethora of litigation and a restraining order issued recently against the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC by a Federal High Court in Abuja.”
It said that with the latest court’s clarification that it never gave an order against the IMC, it is clear there is a “fraudulent manipulation” to take control of the NDDC.
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court, had yesterday clarified that it never made an order sacking the Prof. Dabiel Pondei-led interim management committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Rather, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said the court only granted leave to the applicants to commence legal actions against interim management board of the NDDC.
Meanwhile, the court struck out the suit after the plaintiff, the Incorporated Trustees of Forum for Accountability and Good Governance withdrew the action.